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NSA and CISA Provide Cybersecurity Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures

5G cloud providers, integrators, and network operators share the responsibility to detect and mitigate lateral movement attempts within their 5G cloud infrastructure.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have published cybersecurity guidance to securely build and configure cloud infrastructures in support of 5G. Security Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures: Prevent and Detect Lateral Movement is the first of a four-part series created by the Enduring Security Framework (ESF), a cross-sector, public-private working group which provides cybersecurity guidance that addresses high priority cyber-based threats to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

“This series provides key cybersecurity guidance to configure 5G cloud infrastructure,” said Natalie Pittore, Chief of ESF in NSA’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center.  “Our team examined priority risks so that we could provide useful guidance, disseminated in an actionable way to help implementers protect their infrastructure.”

The series builds on the ESF Potential Threat Vectors to 5G Infrastructure analysis paper released in May 2021, which focused specifically on threats, vulnerabilities, and mitigations that apply to the deployment of 5G infrastructures. Based on preliminary analysis and threat assessment, the top 5G cloud infrastructure security challenges were identified by ESF and a four-part series of instructional documents covering those challenges will be released over the next few weeks.  Topics include securely isolating network resources; protecting data in transit, in use, and at rest; and ensuring integrity of the network infrastructure.

Part I focuses on detecting malicious cyber actor activity in 5G clouds to prevent the malicious cyberattack of a single cloud resource from compromising the entire network.  The guidance provides recommendations for mitigating lateral movement attempts by malicious cyber actors who have successfully exploited a vulnerability to gain initial access into a 5G cloud system.
“This series exemplifies the national security benefits resulting from the joint efforts of ESF experts from CISA, NSA, and industry,” said Rob Joyce, NSA Cybersecurity Director. “Service providers and system integrators that build and configure 5G cloud infrastructures who apply this guidance will do their part to improve cybersecurity for our nation.”

“Strong and vibrant partnerships are critical to the overall effort to reduce cyber risk. Along with our public and private partners in the ESF, CISA is proud to partner with NSA to present the Security Guidance series for 5G Infrastructure,” said Alaina Clark, Assistant Director for Stakeholder Engagement. “Protecting 5G cloud infrastructure is a shared responsibility and we encourage 5G providers, operators and customers to review the new guidance.”

5G cloud providers, integrators, and network operators share the responsibility to detect and mitigate lateral movement attempts within their 5G cloud infrastructure. This document provides best practices to secure the 5G cloud from specific cyber threats of lateral movement that could compromise a network.

Read more at NSA

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